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.@ANClacrosse closes season with heads held high following loss to mighty Culver

Saturday, 19th May 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 5/19/18

The Academy of the New Church knew how daunting a task it faced when it met Culver Military Academy (IN) Friday night in the Victory Events National Prep Championships at Ursinus College.

ANC’s Seamus Hogan (left), David Closterman

Culver – 23-0 and the No. 1 team in North America – had four more Division 1 commits (22) than ANC had available bodies. But the Lions did little to tarnish a season when it earned some national recognition and became a force in the Philly region.

Culver indeed dominated, bolting to an 11-2 lead at halftime, but ANC scored three straight goals in the third period and kept the game competitive.

Culver will meet Hill Academy (ON) in Sunday’s final at 12:30 p.m. ANC closed at 16-6, with a fifth straight Friends Schools League title and wins over playoff teams such as Central Bucks East, Downingtown East, Princeton Day School, and Hun School (twice) – including Wednesday’s meorable 9-8 win over Hun in the National Prep quarterfinals.

“The scouting report was that every guy they have is a great player; they have no weak players,” said ANC senior attackman David Closterman, who had three assists. “We just wanted to show the world what we had.

“We wanted to make plays. We didn’t get the result we wanted. But I am proud of the guys and I am excited for (the future).”

Closterman – whose team also gave powers such as Haverford School, Malvern Prep, and Manheim Township legitimate battles – believes ANC has begin to established itself as a top-tier program.

“Every game we lost this year, we knew we were in the game,” he said. “I am happy with what we have done this season; it was a blast. We feel we have put this team on the map; coming in not many knew about us outside of Philly. ”

ANC coach Rob Forster also felt his team met the challenge.

“I was proud of the way our guys played,” he said. “It was an opportunity for our and a huge step to play on this stage.

“We came out a little shell-shocked. Their speed was different than anything we had seen, but once we settled in we scrapped the game plan go play lacrosse. I was proud of the way we competed. The seniors went out well.”

Alex Simmons – a 2018 attackman signed with Denver – led Culver with four goals and was named the STX Ultra Star of the Game.

Alex Simmons

“Obviously, the goal was to play on Sunday,” he said. “We know we have the ability and the tools and the personnel.

“We know every team comes in and plays us like it’s their Stanley Cup championship game. So we have to play every game like we are playing the top team in the country. We’re fortunate enough to be that team. It’s weird having that target on our heads, but it’s fun.”

Culver still has the Geico Nationals May 27-29 at Catholic University, Washington, D.C. ANC was honored to be invited to the elite event, but will not compete this year.

“They (the ANC Lions) were really well coached and a really good team,” Simmons said. “I thought they had a lot of talent. I was impressed with them in the second half, especially after we had a run earlier.”

ANC senior defenseman Seamus Hogan said the program will continue to grow.

“Coach Rob always said we could play with anyone and it showed today,” he said. “We just wanted to play hard throughout for four quarters.

“The last couple years we have been so close to the breakthrough game. This year we put everything into it and won a couple big games to put us on the map. That feels good. Our core is all sophomores; they have a great future.

“This for us is the beginning. We want to be here every year competing. The seniors set the foundation and we are really proud of it.”

Culver Military Academy (IN) 15, Academy of the New Church 5

Jeb Brenfleck 1 goal
Andrew Lapenta 1 goal
Joe Paterno 2 goals
John Veit 1 goal
Dave Closterman 3 assists
Griffin McGinley 14 saves

Alex Simmons 4G
Austin Madrronic 3G
Owen Hiltz 1G
Cam Chauvette 1G
Jake Stevens 2G
Michael Robinson 3G

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